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How do you "Cull" quails??

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Niquolette, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Niquolette

    Niquolette Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2012
    McMinnville, Oregon
    I am a college student who loves animals and helps my father on his farm. In exchange he lets me keep some of my own animals on his land. I like having my own animal "projects", where I breed/raise/and learn about different kinds of animals all by myself. Not that i don't appreciate my father help and knowledge! I just like the feeling of taking care of something, watching it change&grow, and learning how to earn (or lose lol) money on my own. I have a sebastopol trio and a birchen marans trio and was really wanting to add quails as my 3rd project and last project.
    Now on to my actual question (lol). I have done a lot of research on quails and I think I have decided to go with Coturnix quail. I've gotten a lot of information about raising and breeding quail but no where could I find information on how to cull them (maybe i'm just not looking hard enough?). Anytime i type in "How to Cull Quail", butchering information comes up. I'm not looking on how to butcher (already researched it), I want to know HOW TO SELECT quails that you should keep and which ones should be culled. Is there a breed standard that you should be breeding towards? Qualities that you should breed or avoid? Like when breeding Marans & sebastopols you look at coloring, patterns, egg color, combs, feathering etc.. and only select those that have the most "correct" ones. I know that some people may not think it really matters with quail (after all, they ARE mostly bred for consumption), but if there are certain qualities that people are looking for in quail/breed standards, I would like to know. I may just be overthinking this, but one of the reasons I enjoy having these different "projects" is the fun of trying to reach that "goal" of perfection. I hope that makes sense?
    So what qualitites should you breed or avoid with quails (specifically coturnix)? How do you choose which quails to cull and which ones to keep in your breeding program?
     
  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never shown quail, therefor i cull for the following:

    Overly Aggressive birds
    Feather pickers
    Fighters
    Infertile males or females
    Escape artists "meaning if the bird constantly tries to escape every time you clean,feed or water them"
    Deformed birds... very small, leg problems or any other deformity that i do not want to pass on.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Central Pennsyltucky
    It depends entirely on what you want. Do you want colorful quail, or large birds? I've always culled for larger birds and sometimes for color. I don't know of any show possibilities for coturnix, so mostly it's what groundpecker said, then colors or size (or both if you're really adventurous)
     
  4. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In addition to the above list, watch out for small and weak birds.
     
  5. Niquolette

    Niquolette Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2012
    McMinnville, Oregon
    Thanks you guys! I actually don't "show" my birds or animals (never have) so I'm sorry if you guys misunderstood me, I mostly just wanted to know what people breed towards :) I wasn't sure if there were any "standard" for quail breeds so hearing what things people breed for or avoid gives me somewhere to start and build off of. Thank you everyone! And Groundpecker, thank you for your list, that was exactly what I was looking for. I think I may try both size and colors. Those white quails (Texas A&M or Jumbo white coturnix or whatever the real name is lol) really caught my eye.
     
  6. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Coturnix are nice birds, but be careful if thinking of a profitable venture... My coturnix were never capable of bringing money in, and you often see free or dirt cheap egg, because almost everyone has problems selling them. Button quail were more profitable for me. Your results may vary though.
     
  7. Niquolette

    Niquolette Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2012
    McMinnville, Oregon
    Thank you i will keep that in mind :) I actually want them more for the experience (my favorite thing about raising birds is collecting/incubating/hatching eggs) and I love quail meat and eggs so thats what I want them the most for. What are Button Quail used for? In my area (oregon) I have seen a lot of people breeding Button Quail so they aren't really in high demand unfortunately (too bad sicne they are so cute!). There are some Coturnix breeders but not a ton so the demand is about average. They aren't selling them at really high prices (except some people who think their birds are the best in the entire world) but they definately aren't giving them away for free either. Eating farm grown produce and raising your own food and meat is becomming even more popular so every year the demand for things like meat rabbits,chickens, and quail are rising :)
    I like to keep my "projects" small though, not like big time/serious breeders who have like 8 and more breeding pairs. Thats why I only have one trio of geese and one trio of marans chickens. I will probably just keep two breedng groups of quail (1 male and 3-4 females in one cage and 1 male and 3-4 females in another cage) and see how it goes from there. If they turn out to be more than I need/can handle, I'll get rid of one group and just stick with one trio (or quartet or whatever lol). And if 2 breeding groups turns out NOT to be enough, than I could always get a couple more. We'll see how it turns out :) Something that seems to be really popular in my area is the demand for animals of "different/unique" coloring. If an animal normally comes in just gray or brown, when someone posts one for sale that is white or has just a trace of a different color then they are gone in like a day. I have only seen a couple of different colored Coturnix quail for sale before (brown with some white), but they sold pretty fast. Even with the really high prices. So if I am able to get white Coturnix's or other colors, that would most definatey benefit me. But like i said before, I was going to do this more for my own personal consumption/hobby. And if I can sell some chicks or eggs etc. at the same time, then great! If not, then thats ok too :) I have sebastopols and marans that I sell anyways, so its no biggie.
    Thanks for all your replies, Im still new to BYC but I love all the support, advice, and how friendly people are on here!
     
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Good luck with your coturnix! I keep them for the same reasons you listed: Pets, eggs, meat. The eggs are the best-tasting eggs I have ever had. Everyone who tries them falls in love. They're tiny, but worth the extra effort, and they'll lay almost every day till the day they die.

    The cool thing about coturnix is there's never a problem with getting rid of the extras, because they make such great little meat birds. And around here, you can release and then hunt, so the extras (the culls) serve as recreation, target practice, and then a tasty meal. Hard to beat that deal. (I hope that doesn't sound callous--we raise our quail naturally on grass and high quality feed, and shooting generally results in a clean, humane kill. We don't ever shoot the ones we've had as pets--I don't have the heart for that. :))

    And for those you keep, they can really wriggle their way into your heart. We have a little male we hatched (by accident) alone, and he's very sweet and friendly. Fortunately, males live longer than females (who only live a couple years), so we expect to have him for another couple years probably.
     
  9. UndergroundQuailRoad

    UndergroundQuailRoad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2010
    This resource came up in the commercial coturnix discussion (http://www.lelandhayes.com/pubs/begin_farm.pdf). It has a section about breeding, recommending keeping lines that excel in the characteristics that you desire to perpetuate (they suggest growth rate, fertility, and feather quality/wildness). I found interesting since with my small flock selection is generally preventative (culling) to ensure the elimination of major faults (deformities) from my single line.
     
  10. James Marie

    James Marie Out Of The Brooder

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    I think anybody thinking of raising Coturnix should read this publication...and everybody raising Coturnix should read this also....I highly recommend it to all my customers....even thought some methods and processes are different that small hobbyist or large commercial operations use its a well written article....IMO
     

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